MetaFlora is to bring life to things that cannot sustain life. It is a flower-powered statement that comments on the absence of nature in the streets of New York City.
An urban street intervention developed for UWAC Day, the student residents, along with Doris Cacolio, Sonali Sridhar, and window farmer Maya Nayak came up with the idea of MetaFlora. Each MetaFlora flower has seedpods in the middle of blossoms crafted from newspaper and crepe paper; they were designed to support plant life where plant life does not grow. The newspaper acts as a semi-porous shell to hold moisture for the seed-pod, and the colorful crepe paper attracts passersby to take a closer look: the miracle of life happening on the side of a building, on construction scaffolding, and even on road blocks.
While our preparations seemed endless for U.W.A.C. day, it came and went all in an instant. Not only did we successfully reach our goals of reiterating nature into an urban environment, but we were able to peek the interests of viewers of all ages. From infants to the elderly, even a few dogs joined in on the fun with their owners. More importantly we were able to get our point across and people were able to appreciate the project and in many cases join in on our cause. Our original design of news and tissue paper flowers acted as the perfect decorative shell for the plant pods we placed in the center. The wires wrapped around the center of the flowers acted as stems; allowing us to place them on scaffolding, gates, fences, etc. Everyone left our workshop with either their very own paper flower planter or a sense of accomplishment by donating their paper flower planters to us. A few hours into the event we ventured to 10th Avenue between 24th and 25th street.
The Urban Wilderness Action Center (UWAC) is a project initiated by Eyebeam alum Jon Cohrs, in collaboration with the Eyebeam Student Residents, Eyebeam education coordinator Stephanie Pereira, and UK-based artist Kai-Oi Jay Yung. The UWAC project includes a web platform uwac.anewfuckingwilderness.com and a day of action where people from NYC, Berlin, Amsterdam and London will design and disseminate projects around the theme of "urban wilderness."
UWAC DAY is Saturday, March 20. Each of four lead cities will host a day of free artist-led interventions that respond to urban wilderness. We will document the day through a live Twitter, Flickr, and video feed streamed through the UWAC website.